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LOUNGE => General Board => Topic started by: Danno on January 15, 2005, 10:57 PM

Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Danno on January 15, 2005, 10:57 PM
Thinking back to Bart's suggestion here in Drummer Cafe, I propped a big mirror in front of my drums yesterday and put on a CD.

YIKES.

Talk about a revelation. I noticed the following before I'd finished one song:
 - I keep my head down way too much - booorrrring.
 - My cymbals are so low they obscure my face (reminded me of the great recent thread about cymbal height).
 - When I chew gum and drum I look ridiculous - it looks like the drumming's easy but I'm having trouble with the gum.
 - My beard doesn't look cool like I thought it did.
 - The times I was chewing gum AND had my head down, I looked like a goat eating a sourball.

The good part is that I looked fine once I raised the cymbals, lost the gum, and looked up.

I would have never known how crappy I looked if I hadn't read that tip here in DC and tried it out.

Anyway, I got all psyched up and started writing down all the things I've learned here, thinking to put them in one big post, but my effort turned into this stupid list with stuff like "Get an Acrolite" and "Learn to tune your drums", just a mindless list that wouldn't help anybody. I finally thought hey - just write down ONE tip that really helped you, explain that one tip, and then ask everyone else to do the same.

So - what's one of yours?
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Chip Donaho on January 15, 2005, 11:12 PM
Don't drink beer....Makes me drop sticks.    ::)
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Jay Northrop on January 16, 2005, 12:31 AM
Well typically my head is down when I am practicing at home.But at shows I tend to keep my eyes focused on what I am doing while still perusing the crowd.And I make sure that the times where my head is down I do a stick twirl or something that shows I am alive and well,lol.I realize this is a minor thing but truthfully I can't say what I do or don't do.Especially when it comes to being on stage.There I just have a natural Peart esque prescence.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: MOUSE on January 16, 2005, 12:45 AM
Yep eyes up and mouth slightly open so you can breath naturally, shoulders relaxed. A relaxed smile is the ticket. I often drop my arms to the sides when i'm not playing, it helps release tension.
Remember to have a loose grip with the sticks.

I find by listening to the overall band sound and how i'm fitting in helps. Otherwise you can get into a listening to yourself mode and forget about dynamics easily to the detriment of the music.


The best tip i use is to play every gig as if it were a new adventure but my very last. I give each gig my best shot. It keeps me fresh (even though we play the same repotoire every night).

Oh, yeah and be prepared Boy Scout drummers.
Check gear, gig details, etc. I'm ready for each gig at least 4 hours prior. I get to a gig relaxed ready for anything (hopefully fun).
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Chris Whitten on January 16, 2005, 02:31 AM
RELAX

That's the most important thing you have to do.
You wont be able to utilise your technique, groove or keep consistent time until you relax.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Jon E on January 16, 2005, 05:01 AM
Learn to read music.

That's not really a "tip", it's my credo.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: agogobil on January 16, 2005, 07:22 AM
Less is more.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Dave Heim on January 16, 2005, 07:50 AM
Keep an open mind.  Listen and learn.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Dave Lemonds on January 16, 2005, 08:03 AM
Don't hit your knuckles with your sticks...........it hurts.


Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: soulcage on January 16, 2005, 09:59 AM
Good tip on the beer thing. Too many and you start to sweat it out your pores during the gig....it just makes me feel like my arms weigh 2x as much.

A tip I learned early on: Washing hands before playing. Reducing dirt cuts down on friction between hands and sticks....therefore, less chance for blisters.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: sirdrumalot on January 16, 2005, 10:21 AM
 I'd learn the different grips, I'm still practicing  :-[ and it really helps.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Mister Acrolite on January 16, 2005, 10:24 AM
There are two pieces of equipment that will improve how ANY drummer sounds, regardless of what kind of music they play:

Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Vintage Ludwig on January 16, 2005, 10:30 AM
Video a session from time to time to see how you look while at the kit, and also hear how you sound.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Showtime on January 16, 2005, 10:40 AM
An open mind to all styles and how to take a little from all of them to give yourself a unique sound and style.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: formula428 on January 16, 2005, 10:43 AM
RELAX

That's the most important thing you have to do.
You wont be able to utilise your technique, groove or keep consistent time until you relax.

That would be my tip too.  Relax and HAVE FUN.  The one performance, I wasn't feeling that great, so I layed low the entire night.  It turns out, I got comments from our usual crowd on how our band didn't have energy.  They said we were boring to watch.  (*Note: the guitarists move like statues)

So, the next night, the bassist and I went to town.  It was like a non-stop jam session as we played covers & originals for 4 hours.  After and in between the show, we got commented on how "fun" it was to watch us on stage.  Of course, we had fun, and that's all the matters...
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: mediablamer on January 16, 2005, 11:30 AM
Nothing annoys me more than watching a band that acts like they'd rather be somewhere else. Likewise, I don't care how good or bad a band is if they're having a good time.

I don't like being told to relax because I'm already trying too hard to relax, and more pressure only makes it worse. So, in regards to relaxation, the best advice I received was to think about breathing instead of playing.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: amoacristo on January 16, 2005, 01:07 PM
I agree with Mr. A 100% about the metronome because everything needs to be solidly in time. I agree as well with recording yourself. My advice that hasn't been mentioned yet is to learn a variety of styles of music. Also study (books, DVD's, from teachers, etc.). There is literally an infinite number of things that can be done on the drums and I think only the surface has been scratched. Learn what's been done and go from there.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: roguephp on January 16, 2005, 01:19 PM
remember to breathe
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Paicey on January 16, 2005, 03:24 PM
Best tip for me was something id read from Louis Bellson a long time ago which made me scratch my head and think ya, hes right. Youve all heard it, it aint what you play, its what you DONT play. Listening to myself on playbacks has always confirmed this. To this day that statement remains with me while playing. Thanks Louie.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Danno on January 17, 2005, 12:03 AM
So many good ideas - thanks. I'm mostly self-taught, i.e. I don't really know Jack about anything, so these kinds of suggestions really help me.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Floyd42 on January 17, 2005, 03:29 AM
Practice A LOT and begin SLOWLY is a great tip IMO.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: irishthump on January 17, 2005, 05:06 AM
When you practice, practice what you CAN'T play!
When you play live, only play what you CAN play!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Tripsleft on January 17, 2005, 09:27 AM
Watch that melody, you don't want to step on it!
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: formula428 on January 17, 2005, 11:58 AM
When you practice, practice what you CAN'T play!
When you play live, only play what you CAN play!

Isn't that the truth...
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: LuvmyLeedy on January 17, 2005, 01:47 PM
so many great tips in this thread. i think especially the "be relaxed" tip is really good, as is the "in practice what you can't play and play live (or when recording) what you can play".

my tip is: learn to be able to play with sticks very quietly, but still get a full big sound from the drums. in other words: quiet but not wimpy.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: DaveGink on January 17, 2005, 03:51 PM
I play a lot of small town festivals and firework celebrations in hot, humid summer Wisconsin weather. Here are a few things I've found that help...

Never be ashamed to make yourself as comfortable as possible while playing.

Remember extra towels and t-shirts and other cloths, sweat bands, etc.

Use a fan or two. (I'm talking about the electric propellor-style wind making machine. Not a groupie. But that's up to you.)  ;)

Have a pair of drummers gloves with you on gigs even if you don't normally wear them. Especially if you play outside on a really humid day. (Where you're skin can get so sticky and wet you start tearing up your hands)

Drink plenty of water starting well before the gig. I also have a small cooler behind my kit with water and gatorade as well)

I've found that drugstores carry these tablets called "Leg Cramps" that seem to work pretty well if you suffer from cramping. You just disolve a couple under your tongue as needed.

Beer, coke, pot and pretty much every other drug is a definate no. - take it from somebody who used to do all of the above and screwed up a bunch of gigs in my crazy (stupid) days.

Don't get pissed at band members if they make a mistake or two, and don't get down on yourself if you do. learn from the mistakes. If it get's into your head it will multiply and get worse. Act professional and adult...shake it off and keep smiling.

Remember that if you do screw up, most people in the crowd won't even notice or even care if they do notice. They are there to have fun and an occassional slip up will not ruin their night. This is not an excuse for poor playing though. :)

Create a gig kit (tackle box) with extra tools, drum keys, aspirin, tums, power bars, wing nuts, felts, and other drum parts, ear plugs. band-aid's for blisters, etc. Being prepared is a great feeling when something goes wrong and you're equipped to deal with it. (this is all in addition to the normal stuff you'd take like extra heads, pedal, sticks, etc.

Most importantly, Have Fun!!!!

Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: skeeter9000 on January 18, 2005, 08:58 PM
I have found this to be a very effective tool for developing meter.  Use a drum machine for your metronome/click track.  Program in several measures of time follwed by several measures of silence.  See if you can come back in on the "1" after the measures of silence. When you get comfortable with a certain tempo, increase the length of the silence and/or change the tempo.  While metronomes are great,  they can become a crutch.  With this method, you really learn to own the groove.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: amoacristo on January 19, 2005, 07:36 AM
I like your advice skeeter9000. I do similar things with my metronome. I either have a click every one or every other one to make sure there isn't a constant click to stay with. I don't always do that but I do it some. It helps my confidence as well.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: ritarocks on January 19, 2005, 08:18 AM
First priority always should be keeping a solid beat, as opposed to focusing on fancy fills.  Fluctuation of tempo is a no-no, I don't care how great your licks are!!


Keep that hi hat going (2 and 4 or all 4s, etc.)

Try to play with as many different people as you can, as many different styles as you can.

Listen to different types of music.

Focus on dynamics and learn to bring it down and take it up.  (learn to play softly and slowly)

Learn to lock in with the bass player (as well as listen and watch the other musicians in the band) while you're playing.

Learn to play a small kit.

Try special things to help work on your weak hand, whether its playing open handed or switching things around.

Learn to accent the rides on the off beat <"ands">

Experiment with different set ups and kit arrangements, and find out what is most comfortable for you---this is a very personal thing.

Don't bang on the ride--guitarists hate that.

Remember ergonomics and proper technique and posture so you don't injure/strain yourself.

Carry around duct tape, extra wing nuts, etc.

Don't play with splintery sticks.  They'll tear up your hands and your drums.

Triplets rule!

Use a drum rug to help with sliding.


That's it for now. :)




Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: buzz57 on January 19, 2005, 09:11 AM
What she said. ;D
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: James Walker on January 19, 2005, 09:31 AM
Many good suggestions have been given thus far.

The only thing I can think to add is:  learn a pitched instrument.  Could be bass, could be guitar, or vibes, or piano, or trumpet, or even harmonica - just something that deals with definite pitches.  Learn about melody, learn about chords, learn about aspects of music besides rhythm (as valuable as rhythm is).  It'll give you added perspective on what other musicians are doing, will help you to understand the music you're playing, and will help you to create and/or choose drum parts that fit the songs you play.  It'll also train your ears to better identify what the rest of the band is doing.

Even better:  If you can develop your skills well enough to perform on this new instrument (even if it's just jamming with friends), it'll give you added perspective on what drummers can contribute to a musical situation.  Hearing how a drummer can help - or hinder - your work "out front" can be a great learning experience.  ("So THAT'S what it's like to have the drummer overplay and step all over my solo!  That's horrible!")

I know that my drum set playing has been enhanced immeasurably by my experience playing jazz vibes and steel pans - and in turn, my drumming has influenced and informed my vibes and pan playing.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: mediablamer on January 19, 2005, 02:09 PM
The best thing I ever did for myself as a drummer was to join the second jazz band as the pianist.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: sptucker on January 19, 2005, 02:42 PM
What a great forum.  Great advice and suggestions so far.

A couple more tips -- One for the youngsters, and one for the not-so-youngsters:

1) Never assume that you are all that good, stay humble and stop being so serious.

2) Never stop learning, because you're still not all that good.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Smitch on January 19, 2005, 04:48 PM
Support the song
Play to the vocalist
Warm up on a pad for at least 20 minutes before the gig

Oops, that's more than one tip!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: IncuDrummer on January 19, 2005, 05:46 PM
So many good ideas - thanks. I'm mostly self-taught, i.e. I don't really know Jack about anything, so these kinds of suggestions really help me.
I'm with ya there buddy
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Danno on January 19, 2005, 09:30 PM
Y'all are great - this is way more than I expected when I started this thread.

Thank you!
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Steve Phelps (Shoeless) on January 20, 2005, 08:37 AM
Never sleep with the lead singer. Trust me on this.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: sptucker on January 20, 2005, 10:43 AM
Never sleep with the lead singer. Trust me on this.

This post got me so tickled that I just cannot stop laughing.

Must be low on sleep.     Nah, it's just @$%# funny...    ;D
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: DRWM on January 20, 2005, 12:07 PM
Have fun!!!!

Drumming is supposed to be an uplifting experience, not a downer.

Not a very technical tip, but a tip none the less.  :)
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: oxford on January 20, 2005, 06:44 PM
a video camera is your best friend and worst critic -- you are probably not as talented and cool to watch as you think you are. ;)
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: irishthump on January 20, 2005, 07:44 PM
Quote
a video camera is your best friend and worst critic -- you are probably not as talented and cool to watch as you thing you are.  

Ugh! **shudders** Ain't it the truth!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Dave Kropf on January 20, 2005, 10:20 PM
My one tip: subdivide with your hihat foot (heel).

If you keep subdivisions with your heel, you will be less likely to have tempo fluxuations in your grooves.  Also, this keeps the leg moving and makes open-close hh work easier (IMO).
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: felix on January 21, 2005, 06:33 AM
I have found this to be a very effective tool for developing meter.  Use a drum machine for your metronome/click track.  Program in several measures of time follwed by several measures of silence.  See if you can come back in on the "1" after the measures of silence. When you get comfortable with a certain tempo, increase the length of the silence and/or change the tempo.  While metronomes are great,  they can become a crutch.  With this method, you really learn to own the groove.

Good points there.

I have problems with the metronome as a "crutch" - it has helped me tremendously and I don't think ever hurt my playing in anyway.

Along with Mr. A's advice of recording yourself; learning basic subdivisions and practicing grooves with a metronome/drum machine is going to take you FAR.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: RHSquonk on January 21, 2005, 07:28 AM
The only thing I can think to add is:  learn a pitched instrument.  Could be bass, could be guitar, or vibes, or piano, or trumpet, or even harmonica - just something that deals with definite pitches.  Learn about melody, learn about chords, learn about aspects of music besides rhythm (as valuable as rhythm is).  It'll give you added perspective on what other musicians are doing, will help you to understand the music you're playing, and will help you to create and/or choose drum parts that fit the songs you play.  It'll also train your ears to better identify what the rest of the band is doing.

Even better:  If you can develop your skills well enough to perform on this new instrument (even if it's just jamming with friends), it'll give you added perspective on what drummers can contribute to a musical situation.  Hearing how a drummer can help - or hinder - your work "out front" can be a great learning experience.  ("So THAT'S what it's like to have the drummer overplay and step all over my solo!  That's horrible!")
This is great advice James. To this I would only add 1 more thing:
Learn to appreciate the differences.
By this I mean, try to gain some perspective as to your role within the band. I have seen way too many drummers ( including myself  ::)) overplay.
There is a saying I use to remind myself of this;
"Just because you can eat the whole pizza, doesn't mean you should eat the whole pizza."
-RHS
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Paul L on January 21, 2005, 07:58 AM
My favorite tips from this thread are:

1) relax & enjoy
2) don't worry if you make a mistake cuz most won't know (or care)
3) use a metronome as part of your practice
4) never get angry at your mates
5) eyes up & watch during a show
6) use dynamics (don't play at "triple f" all the time)
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: felix on January 21, 2005, 08:13 AM
This is great advice James. To this I would only add 1 more thing:
Learn to appreciate the differences.
By this I mean, try to gain some perspective as to your role within the band. I have seen way too many drummers ( including myself  ::)) overplay.
There is a saying I use to remind myself of this;
"Just because you can eat the whole pizza, doesn't mean you should eat the whole pizza."
-RHS

Exactly.  This sorta falls into the "record yourself".  I fall into this trap myself.  Most of the time *at least when I play them* wild fills just don't sound good at all.  Especially the off speed stuff.  You can be loaded for nuclear war with chops, but if you are just out to bag a squirrel it's ridiculous to bust out the big stuff.  

Put the squirrel on the pizza then you definitely won't wanna eat the whole thing  ;D
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: RHSquonk on January 21, 2005, 08:15 AM
You can be loaded for nuclear war with chops, but if you are just out to bag a squirrel it's ridiculous to bust out the big stuff.  

Put the squirrel on the pizza then you definitely won't wanna eat the whole thing  ;D
ROTFLMAO!
Well said Felix! ;D
-RHS
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: marker on January 21, 2005, 12:06 PM
Never sleep with the lead singer. Trust me on this.

Amen!


BTW, there's one thing I sort realized recently about working with metronomes, clicks, etc.   If you work with them all the time, you'll be real solid, but if you stop, you'll drift back into timing that "breathes".  So, if you're going into a time critical situation, practice with a click beforehand.  

Also, unless it's a no choice situation, leave the metronome at home for gigs and rehearsals.   That will save you from having the band drive you nuts.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Scheming Demon on January 21, 2005, 03:59 PM
One quote will always stick with me

"If you're thinkin you're stinkin."

Which means you play best when you are one with the music and not consciously thinking of what you're playing as your playing it.

On a previous post - What about sleeping with the singer of another band?  Probably just as bad.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: windhorse on January 23, 2005, 10:09 AM
If you haven't learned something new, then you've wasted your day.
Keep learning!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: oligearing on January 23, 2005, 07:51 PM
Play as many styles as you can.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: pf69bird on January 27, 2005, 03:19 PM
Danno's opening post really hit home with me! I recently decided to add "video capabilities" to my home studio, meaning that I plunked down a tripod, attached my camcorder, and rolled tape.

YIKES pretty well sums it up. My playing SOUNDS ok - I've gotten pretty serious about it in the last 2 years since setting up the studio, but I'm not exactly ready for VH1.
I keep my head down too much, and appear to be straining at times to get things just right.

Learning to just relax and have fun with it is definitely the key.
I can sometimes do this at jam sessions, and it's amazing how easy it all becomes - I love being in that zone.
But, drumming is a sideline thing for me, so I don't play with others often enough to learn how to be consistently good.

Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: MikeR on January 28, 2005, 09:53 PM
Once again... don't sleep with the lead singer.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: MikeR on January 28, 2005, 09:56 PM
Especially if she is engaged to your lead singer.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Steve Phelps (Shoeless) on January 31, 2005, 06:11 AM
Fortunately in my current band, the lead singer is 250 lb., 48 year-old man.

Good thing I had that bit of advice with me, though :-\
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: edrummer on January 31, 2005, 09:32 PM
turn you hit hats so the agle adjustment screw is close to you.  makes for better sizzle...
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: vertijoe on February 02, 2005, 04:30 AM
Learn Moeller (sp?), and apply it....nice and smooth.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Drumodad on April 30, 2005, 12:12 AM
The best thing you could do is get a good teacher,maybe you have been told this,maybe not.You will grow as a drummer in more ways than one,technique,style ,groove and probably the most important of all,confidence in your abilities. I read this in a previous post but its pretty much my credo,loose grips brother!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Drumodad on May 01, 2005, 11:29 PM
:


2) don't worry if you make a mistake cuz most won't know (or care)

My tip comes from a friend who went to Berklee about making mistakes.I know I have flubbed parts here and there,and over there,and,well.If possible, whatever you did wrong,do it again,this way it gives the impression you meant to do it. Sometimes you even come up with a new/different way to play it,maybe even better thanwhat you first intended.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Eskil Sæter on May 03, 2005, 02:30 AM
Video a session from time to time to see how you look while at the kit, and also hear how you sound.

Thank you for the tip!

I just did this, and I got some good and some bad news (to use a cliche):

Good: I have much better technique than I give myself credit for, and I'm more even and steady than I thought I'd be

Bad: I'm terribly repetitive. I play the exact same snare pattern everywhere (snare on 2 and 4 and the E after 3 (3-E-and-ah)), and the kick pattern is a mirror of that. Booooooring!!!

As my single best tip: It's been said already, but practice along with (and "steal" techniques and tips from) any style you can get your hands on, no matter what kind of music you play with your band or what you like listening to.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: vanguard on May 04, 2005, 08:59 PM
*pulls out his 2 cents*

ahh..  my deal is during a show, I'll kinda slow down whats happening in my head and try to "actively listen" to the song... the music.

...then I think "what can I do to make this all sound better?"   I'll look for the places to lay back, play the cool fills, change the groove, DISPLACEMENT, or just..  straight 2 and 4.


that is mine, but..   to qoute John Blackwell Jr.
"my dad told me that no matter what, if I played 2 & 4 I'll be alright"
.....true.   do what the heck ever you want, but if you hit the 2 and the 4..   you're atleast doing half your job. =D
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: oxford on May 07, 2005, 04:38 AM
learn how to hang with the band. don't be a jerk.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: paul on May 07, 2005, 01:01 PM
relax
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: drumwild on May 07, 2005, 02:26 PM
I'll give a few of my $0.02, along with where I learned it.

When the replacement drummer says he won't steal your gig, that doesn't mean you'll get the gig back.

Ginger Fish, drummer for Marilyn Manson, fell off a moving hydraulic stage (about 12 feet) before a German music award show in September 2004. He was so badly injured that they thought he was dead at first. Manson called in NIN drummer Chris Vrenna to fill in. But Fish has a feeling that he will not be called back to the gig. As he puts it, "He (Vrenna) has been standing over my shoulder for the past 11 years, poised to take the spot. Manson is the boss and will decide who he wants for the job. Even if Vrenna wanted to give the gig back to me, it's not his decision."

Bring something unique and desirable to the table and you'll keep busy.

I've played in bands in a variety of positions, including lead guitar, bass, keys, and trumpet. Lots of times, I would notice that the drummer would be late to the gig, would have a bad attitude, wouldn't show up at all, or wanted to make outrageous demands. In some instances, I was asked to put down my instrument and play drums because the guy just didn't show. As a result, I show up on time and do my best to be easy to work with. There are lots of drummers out there who are better than me, so I'd best do something to set myself apart from the herd.

Maintain your gear.

I do some side work as a drum tech. It's amazing how it will be less than an hour before the gig, and the drummer will realize that he doesn't have sticks, a head is broken, a spring is missing, or some batteries need to be replaced in the IEM amp. I check my gear before I put it away and have extra replaceables (batteries, sticks, extra snare head etc.) at my disposal. The music store isn't always close by and it's definitely not open at 11pm.

Never be "too good" for a gig of any kind.

One of my drum tech gigs that seemed relatively insignificant landed me a spot as a Stage Manager for the band's show at the Van's Warped Tour in Portland, Oregon. Not only will it pay well, but it has opened other doors for new opportunities to earn cash and build a reputation. Had I decided to NOT take that gig because I was above that type of work, I'd not have the opportunities I currenty enjoy. Heck, I could ultimately be rewarded down the road with a phone call for a gig I can't refuse!
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Ranman on May 07, 2005, 03:14 PM
Move your 3 fingers out of the way when your sticks are coming back up.

Don't let them interfere (touch) AT ALL with the drumstick.

Use ALL 3 fingers going down

relax
Yesssss and it will be sooooo goooood.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: JerBear on May 07, 2005, 08:23 PM
My son's view... http://www.drumpix.com/showphoto.php?photo=3373&sort=1&cat=500&page=1
Soon to change...  moving the kit in front of the mirror.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: jokerjkny on May 09, 2005, 04:03 AM
wow,

BEST... THREAD... EVER!!!  8)

my own two bits?

sing along to the song.  keeps you from over playing, and helps to lock in not only with the song, but more importantly with the time.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Mister Acrolite on May 09, 2005, 05:43 AM
sing along to the song.  keeps you from over playing, and helps to lock in not only with the song, but more importantly with the time.

Another benefit of singing along with the song is that it can help prevent you from unconsciously making the dreaded Stupid-Looking Drummer Faces while you play.

In particular this helps prevent the Carp Out Of Water Gasping For Breath face, and the Sitting On The Toilet Thinking I've Got To Cut Back On The Fiber face.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: tamazil799 on May 09, 2005, 08:38 AM
dont stiffen up when you play. take a few deep breaths and try to clear your mind before playing.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: smoggrocks on May 09, 2005, 11:17 AM
my favorite from my first teacher:

never be nervous, scared, shy, anxious before a gig. doing so demonstrates ego. if you demonstrate ego, you cannot play for the song.


we've bantered this about with varying interpretations hear, but just looking it at face value is where i'm at.


the other tip is to practice dropping sticks while playing. this is a good way to learn how to recover the groove. also helps you be less surprised when it actually happens.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Danno on May 09, 2005, 12:01 PM
I'm tickled to death that this thread is still going.

Drummer Cafe has completely changed my style of drumming, and my drums themselves. I came back to drumming 14 months ago after not having played for 25 years. This time around, I decided to learn how to actually tune my drums, which is what brought me to Drummer Cafe in the first place - just looking for some tuning tips.

I've learned so much more than just tuning - I learned to relax (which changed everything, how I sit, what I sit on, my posture, etc.), and I'm learning Moeller technique, and I'm also starting to learn open-handed playing. I'm MUCH more comfortable and competent behind the drums than I used to be because of this forum.

My drums sound great, too. My bass drum sounds like a cannon, and my snare sounds like -- a snare. Finally.

I also made some equipment choices because of DC that I'm really glad I made - Speed King pedal, Acrolite snare, and Sabian HH cymbals. And my entire kit, with the exception of my hi-hat stand and my throne, was purchased piece by piece on eBay for about half new price.

Bottom line -- I used to be a really good rock/blues drummer. Now I kick a**. I owe 90% of my improvement to Drummer Cafe.

I look at it this way -- I spent around $28 to join Drummer Cafe, and because I joined and did a bunch of research and asked a bunch of questions, I ultimately (through eBay, another idea I got here) saved about $900 putting my new kit together, plus now I know how to tune, how to relax, etc. etc. PLUS I have a fantastic set of drums, and I'm not wearing myself out flogging them to death - now I just PLAY them.

Pretty good return on my investment.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: felix on May 09, 2005, 12:30 PM
another satisfied customer...

I'd say the secret to my success is my "never surrender" attitude.  Keep playing and practicing, everyday if you can.  Every year you will evolve as a drummer.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: 7lazy8 on May 09, 2005, 01:57 PM

the other tip is to practice dropping sticks while playing. this is a good way to learn how to recover the groove. also helps you be less surprised when it actually happens.

Unfortunately, i do this enough UNintentionally.  Some, I can recover gracefully, others, I cannot.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: soulandfolk on May 09, 2005, 03:28 PM
fills are great but if you love playing them too much the general groove of the song is lost.

Use fills, but sparingly. And don't start the song with them unless there's a special sound that song calls for. Wait a few bars before you put one in. Build them up so they get more interesting as you put in each new one. But remember, less is more. The basic groove of the song matters way more than how cool you are!
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: CeLoo on May 20, 2005, 02:38 AM
All atheletes need to run and strech.  All drummers need to practice Eight on a Hand.

At least 20 min every day.  The same before and after you play set.
Try EOH until you reach zen like meditation levels. (four hours or more)

All aspects of you drumming will improve; notably, speed, controle, time, WEAK HAND.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Gaetano Nicolosi on May 20, 2005, 08:17 AM
GREAT TIPS FROM EVERYONE!

Here is my favorite: "Don't practice when you play, and don't play when you practice"
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: felix on May 21, 2005, 01:53 PM
What is Eight on a Hand?
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Stewart Manley on May 21, 2005, 02:13 PM
What is Eight on a Hand?

Play eight singles on one hand, then eight on the other, rinse, repeat...
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: glamrocker on May 21, 2005, 03:33 PM
the guy who gave me my first ever kit (premier olympic) was my dad's mate who was a club drummer and ex dance band drummer... He kinda showed me the ropes to start me off and said "go out and get a Joe Loss record" or something recorded  just for dancing  and learn all the dance beats (waltz, foxtrot,samba,quickstep ,etc)  and you will never be short of work cos everything else after that is just interpretation.... and within a year I was earning £7.50 a night at the age of 13  and I went on to have one of the best apprenticeships I could have hoped for....... and he was right.Everything else is just interpretation!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: glamrocker on May 21, 2005, 03:50 PM
Oh Yes!   NEVER  take the attitude of "I'm ONLY the drummer!"  cos if you DO think like that...you ONLY ever will be!
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Drumodad on May 21, 2005, 07:19 PM
Ok,my 1 cent,this exercise will stretch and strengthen the muscles you use the most while drumming.I learned it from Mr. Famularo.In the around the barrel position,palms up,very lightly put your index finger and thumb together,then extend and retract the remaining three fingers.All the way to a straight position,then touching palm,back to extended,etc.Do this as much as you can,driving,watching tv.,whenever you arent using your hands.It burns the first time,but it really makes a difference.Do a few free strokes,then this exercise for a minute,relax your hands,wrist.Then do more free strokes,you should feel less tension if you are doing it correctly.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: glamrocker on May 22, 2005, 05:19 AM
Never sleep with the lead singer. Trust me on this.

AND never sleep with the singer's wife or gay lover either !
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Ghostrider on May 22, 2005, 07:23 AM
I don't get a lot of time to read let alone post - but found the DC forum insightful, educational and silly, what more can you ask for in a drummer's forum?

Reading through the boards today, I'd have to say a good tip is to stay away from playing with fire and water on your drums! LOL!
...Unless you're a trained professional idiot like on Ripley's Believe It or Not or World's Funniest Home Videos. Hate to see someone get burned or worse yet drown! ;D

I had a singer friend who attempted to spit fire on stage one night - burned his hair off and naturally got us kicked out of the club (I personally was snickering in tears at my bud's "Kojak" head for weeks!). Another, a drummer friend, lit fire on his rims and cymbals during a show, burned the club rear stage wall (nearly the whole club) - spent 30 days in jail, a $10,000 fine + community service talking about the dangers in playing with fire. He did it later with that flash powder stuff and burned his arm and his shirt off!(?) Saw this one drummer do the water trick one night, with colored lights and such - months later saw him doing it and there was rust on the chrome real bad and some moldy stains or something all over his shells and heads. :P

I personally never understood the "trash your instrument" mentality. So take care of your drums and they will take care of you! :)
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Ranman on May 22, 2005, 08:33 AM
Exactly Ghostrider!

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin never rolled around the stage because he felt that it had nothing to do with the music.
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Ranman on May 22, 2005, 08:43 AM
What is Eight on a Hand?

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/technique/02rebound.html
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: felix on May 22, 2005, 09:08 AM
They got a name for everything now.
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: skeeter8000 on June 05, 2005, 01:40 AM
In my earlier post in this thread I recommended setting a click track to play time followed by bars of silence as a way to work on solidifying your meter.   The point is to try and stay locked into the groove during the silence and still come in on the 1.   The benefit is that you don't become dependent on the metronome for staying locked into the groove.  

I recorded some MP3s that people that don't have a drum machine can use to practice this technique.  Please email me directly if you would like a link to these files.

Thanks,

Harry
Title: What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: Marcos on June 05, 2005, 03:24 PM
Don't look back - Keep an open mind - No sex before the big gig
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: that1drummer on June 28, 2005, 06:18 PM
Love What You Do.
 
(especially your wife)
Title: Re:What's one of your best drum/drumming tips?
Post by: cragar on June 29, 2005, 03:51 PM
If you leave your sticks on the dashboard, it's legal to park in a handicap spot